Thursday, March 29, 2012

TRX: A Badass Workout

I didn't make a big deal about it at the time, but about 2 months ago I rejoined at our local YMCA. The facility is only about 6 years old, and they have recently made additions to it and upgraded it even more. I had cancelled my membership a few years ago when it just seemed like too much money for a family membership ($80/mo.) when I was going maybe once a week and my husband didn't like working out there. Somehow I had completely missed the fact that a single adult with up to 4 children can use the facility for a monthly fee of only $55! Plus, over the last couple of years my schedule has lightened up a bit, having more days I work from home and just having easier access to the Y.

A couple weeks ago my friend encouraged me to try a TRX class. TRX is basically a suspension training work out, where you utilize straps that hang from the ceiling in this case, and leverage your body weight and gravity to build core body strength and lean muscle. Check out this video, which pretty much sums it up:

Yes, we did almost every single one of those exercises in my 50 minute class. My instructor is totally cool, making sure to help out anyone who is new to the class. She calls out exercises and tells you how much time you have left for each one as you are doing them. Each time you do a new exercise she directs you to quickly adjust your straps to the proper length. Every exercise utilizes and strengthens your core, and you definitely feel it when it is over.

Imagine doing lunges, chest presses, tricep/bicep curls, burpees, mountain climbers all using your own body weight for resistance and in some cases suspended by straps? Does it sound interesting? Well it is! It is an amazing work out, and during the class at some point I think to myself, "I am dying right now." Of course I'm not really dying, I am getting absolutely worked, and afterwards I feel so great and proud of myself that I survived. What I love about this class is that no weights are involved, so rather than build and develop big muscles and I am developing lean body strength. It's crazy, this is one of those classes that in the past I would walk by and think it was way too hardcore for me. I am so glad that my friend encouraged me and pushed me to try something new and different. I don't want my body to get complacent, and I love retraining my muscles and keeping them guessing!

Have you ever tried TRX? What do you think?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Job and Food (What Else?!)

My new job has been going well. I work with some incredibly nice and cool people, and they took me out to sushi for lunch on my first day. SCORE! So we got off to a good start on the food front, as they apparently love sushi as much as I do and that is typically the office lunch of choice. But, I just have to laugh. You have surely read about my previous struggles with food at the office and also here. So it turns out at my new job, my Director is the only Director in the whole company who shares an office with someone. That someone would be me. She is totally cool and I couldn't have asked to work for and with a better person. However, It turns out that she is also the only person who generously supplies snacks and treats for the office, all out of the goodness of her heart.
Sushi on my first day. Gotta love it. 

Spicy goodness of wasabi peas. May be why my tummy hurts!

We have a lunch room with a vending machine, but my boss buys goodies for the purpose of sharing with everyone. We have a small round table in our office and everyone stops by to grab a little something all day long. I love that, because without that interaction I would have a lot less exposure and it would take a lot longer for me to meet everyone. I must say, she makes some pretty good choices so fortunately for me the handfuls of goodies I've been chowing down on this week are more harmless than they could be. And really, I do know I can't blame anyone else for my lack of willpower. We've had wasabi peas, sesame sticks, and plantain chips which have been really yummy. I have had my own snacks to try to keep my distance (peanut butter celery and carrot sticks) but there have been SWEETS 2 days in a row. That is where you get me. It doesn't matter if I stuff myself to the gills with celery and carrots, if there are cookies or cupcakes to be had - we have had both - you know I will find room. I just find humor in the fact that I am faced with unrelenting food temptation. After all these years you'd think I'd find it terribly boring and just deal with it. But no.
Crack cookies. I had 2. 
The job itself is very interesting, challenging and very busy. A lot of people think social media management is just playing on Twitter and Facebook all day. It is so much more than that. I really like this company and want to do well, so I'll be giving it my all!! They are incredibly flexible with my schedule, which is awesome for the boys. I can take Buddha to his speech therapy evaluation and Monkey to baseball practice and not feel guilty or that I am asking to much. As long as my job gets done that's all that matters. I definitely will not be taking that for granted! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On Fire This Week!

The Boys and their late-night light saber shenanigans
I start my new job tomorrow. I am beyond excited. I was very fortunate to have a week + off between jobs, and I really took advantage of it. I am always seeing small projects around my house that need to be done but never get to them with the hustle and bustle of every day life. Whenever I take time off from work, its usually because we have something planned and there is no time for getting around to projects then either. Holidays here and there are days I fully cherish and look forward to, so no catching up on any nagging items then. Of course, that's my choice. Instead of enjoying myself on the weekend I could commit out my closet or something of that nature but, nope. I'd rather not.

Well, I didn't make it to cleaning my closet this time around either, but I did take time to think about what kind of accessories I need. I am trying to get rid of a large dresser in my room so that I can put a small writing desk in its place, and need to make room in my closet to incorporate the clothes in the dresser. Part of that means cleaning out the top drawer which is filled with a combination of jewelry and important papers. That type of project would probably take me a full day because I'd have to go through each and every paper and item of jewelry to determine what I can get rid of. When I stop by Target this week and get the items I need for my closet, I'll empty out the dresser (easy) and put the contents of the top drawer in a box which will some how make the task seem smaller.

Let's hear about all the great things I accomplished:

Found a place to donate my business suits. I have been saying for a while now I was hoping to find a good place to send my business clothes that I hope I will never have to wear again. I found a great charity called Dress For Success that is exactly what I'm looking for. Really easy, quick search on the internet, but for some reason just never go to it!

Worked out hard every day. No lie. This is how I would live if I didn't work. I was in pure heaven. I did a fitness center/circuit training/treadmill work out, a Body Pump class, a Body Sculpt class, yoga, and TRX. I also managed to get a couple outdoor runs in as well. I am totally sore but I feel amazing.
On a machine at the gym, workin' it!
Had fun with the kids. I got to pick them up from school each day. We went fun places for lunch, I took them to the indoor pool at the Y that has an indoor water slide, we had ice cream, we saw The Lorax, I took Buddha to an open play session at a gymnastics academy while Monkey was in school. We had play dates, we played outside in the court and they rode their scooters, skateboard, rollerblades. I know typically the kids don't get to do these things during the week as their caregivers are more comfortable keeping the kids confined to the house and backyard. So to the boys, this was definitely special!

Lunch time smiles!
Finished The Hunger Games Series. For some reason, I struggled with the last book. But I finally finished. I really enjoyed the first two and tore right through them, and had a hard time getting into the last one until towards the end. The funny thing is I usually read at night in bed and with all this extra working out I've been doing I kept falling asleep when I would attempt to read.
This book was awesome. Couldn't put it down.
Ate well with no regrets. Ok, I usually do this anyway. But this time around I honestly felt I earned everything I ate. We had a great dinner out with our neighborhood friends at a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant  here in town and indulged in dessert too. We took the kids out to a sushi feast at our favorite local joint. I ate ice cream with the kids. I drank some wine. I had a Skinnygirl Margarita or two in the evenings. We had some great meals at home as well - salmon, asparagus and roasted potatoes...pork chops another night...pasta a few times I was alone with the kids....I fit in my requisite green smoothies a few times of course to balance it all out. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I can assure you it was good!
Nothing Bundt Cakes, mmmmmmmmm!
Filled a photo album with a backlog of pictures. That's right. All of 2011, with the exception of our Disneyland trip in December, fit into one album. So now I'm just going to get one small album just for the Disneyland photos...not nearly as daunting as having a box full of Snapfish envelopes staring at me for months on end.
This bad boy holds 500 photos. It's now full.
Took my baby gear to a new consignment store here in town.  I have been giving away the baby and toddler clothes over time as the kids grow out of things. I kept hanging on to the bigger things: Pack n' Play, co-sleeper, double stroller, and various others *just in case*. Well, I think that ship has sailed. Part of me really wants another child, but I am kind of starting to enjoy the phase my boys are in right now and can't fathom starting over with another baby. If only I was younger and could afford to wait a few years. You know, rest, recover, otherwise known as forgetting how friggin' hard it is to have a baby. But I'm over 4-0 (just a little) and I guess its time to move on.

Reduced a large pile of "important" papers to nearly nothing. I swear, the longer I hang on to stuff that I think I need, the funnier it is when I go through the stack and realize I can now throw it away because its irrelevant. I have the hardest time with the art work the kids bring home. I've started taking photos of most of it because you just can't keep it all.

Picked out new bedding. I've really been needing something new. Something to brighten up my room especially since spring, and eventually summer, are coming. Everything in our room is brown. The walls, our bed frame is black but has a brown suede headboard, our current duvet is white with a dense brown paisley pattern, and our sheets are solid brown. West Elm sent me an email about one of their sales, and I got suckered a great deal on a duvet and sham set that I had been eyeing. Its totally different than what we have and is just the change we need. Now I just need to get new sheets, but that's the easy part.
Dreamy isn't it? Adds some color to our brown room.
Pampered myself. I went with a friend to get pedis and also got my very first shellac on my nails. This is fantastic. It lasts until it grows out and doesn't need to be drilled or filled. I can see myself doing this again for sure! I usually don't get polish on my nails because with small kids my hands constantly seem to be in water and regular polish seems pointless.
Love this!
And lastly, I had my blog header re-done.  What do you think? My fabulous friend Tracey did it. I love it.

So I feel like I made the most of my time off. I am thrilled that I managed to accomplish things I've needed to do, as well as enjoy myself and my family. I am totally ready for my first day at my new job tomorrow. BRING IT!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How My Job Change Will Drastically Improve My Life

A recent fabulous day after my interview
I wanted so badly to tell you all about it here, but I didn't want to jinx it. I will be starting a new job next week and I am ecstatic with a capital E! I will have a legitimate, full-time, social media gig!

Previously, my commute to work was at least 45 minutes each way. Coming home was typically closer to an hour. My weeknights were always a rough race home to make it in time for dinner, do quick baths and get the kids to bed. I pretty much went to bed not too much later than they did, since our mornings begin early to get everyone ready for school. My weeks flew by because I literally had no life. Well all that is going to change!

Well, my new job is less than 5 minutes from my house. 5 MINUTES! On top of that they are super flexible and sometimes I can work from home. I just think of how much of my life I will get back. I won't be a grouch when I get home after being in the car too long. My Mom and MIL, who watch the boys a couple times a week while Chip and I work, will actually be able to make it home in time for dinner themselves. My MIL, who doesn't like to drive at night, will NEVER have to leave my house in the dark again!

The money will be about the same, but the amount I will save on gas will be huge. I heard that gas could get up to $5/gallon in the summer. Let's hope not!

Even better, I will be close to the kids during the day. If I want to, I could pick them up every day. On to the next chapter in my life...and it looks like its going to be a good one!

Here's a little Happy Happy Joy Joy for ya!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10K Trail Race and Madness!

Shirt design courtesty of Tracey Kite

This past weekend I did a 10K trail run put on by Coastal Trail Runs. It was my first trail race ever, and it was SO fun. The weather was gorgeous and sunny, the conditions were perfect. It had rained earlier in the week but the trail was dry. My family came with me to cheer me on. The boys were bundled up and Chip kept them entertained while I made history ran my first trail race!
Cheering Squad!
As you know I have been training on trails lately, however, where I have been running was no match for this amazing trail at San Pedro Valley Park in Pacifica, located in scenic Northern CA. The course was a pretty intense uphill, downhill, brief straightaway, uphill, downhill. And the second hill seemed to be much more challenging....I wonder why? (sarcastically). It was pretty narrow, and I constantly had to be aware of tree roots, grooves in the dirt, rocks etc. But I was also aware of the fresh air, the pungent smell of eucalyptus, and the clear, blue, sunny skies. The start of the course was all uphill, so like ants we slowly made our way up the trail. I am not a particularly fast uphill runner so I was content staying in my place in line, but occasionally passed people on my way up especially if I felt the narrow trail was too congested and just wanted to break out.

LEARN/LAUGH: At least I can look back at this killer run and laugh. About 2 miles in, heading downhill, I was finally able to break past a group of people that I had been caught behind on the narrow trail. I took off, and didn't see anyone in front of me. Apparently the chasm between the group I was behind and the next group of people ahead of us was pretty big. So I was on my own for a bit, and I accidentally missed a turn. About a half mile later I realized my mistake when I hit a dead end and high-tailed it back in the other direction. By the time I got to the turn I had missed, all the people I had passed previously were ahead of me. This was at the start of the second hill, and it was all vertical trajectory. I did not have it in me to pass more than a handful of the people who were lagging behind. This added 10 more minutes to my time, which was 1:14:22. Not terrible, considering I added on about another mile to my run!
There I am finishing in the pink!
I had been advised before I went by my great group of running moms not to be too concerned about time on trail runs and just enjoy the scenery and have fun. Now I know why! It was awesome to see my husband and kids when I was all done, and we spent the afternoon at the San Francisco Zoo. We had a lovely weekend staying by the beach and couldn't have asked for better weather. I am definitely signing up for this race again next year so that I may redeem myself! See you next year, Montara Mountain Trail Run!!!
Surfer Scramble at High Tide Cafe

Fun times in Pacifica, CA